I weighed. I tested. I tasted. I rejected.
My thirst for finding the best crepe recipe was unquenchable.
I was living life on the boulevard of broken dreams, having been let down by so many crepe recipes that had been unable to deliver their promised thin pancake goodness. I was feeling desperate, a fugitive without her crepe sucrees.
My luck was about to change, as I finally happened upon on a recipe that would alter my crepe making destiny.
It was the day after Bastille Day, Le Quatorze Juillet…Viva La France! and I had just finished watching Julia Child’s “The French Chef” re runs on You Tube. I was feeling somewhat nostalgic with the words of Julia Child ringing sweetly in my ears… “In cooking you’ve got to have a WHAT THE HELL attitude…”
What the hell…I decided to give my crepe search one last ditch attempt by picking through a few cookbooks that have been lurking unceremoniously in a pile under my bedside table.
I was reunited with some dear old friends like Philip Johnson’s Ecco 2 and The Two Fat Ladies Ride Again before I came across a tender favourite from years gone by. Encased in the pages of Charlie Trotters white hardcover dessert cookbook was what I had been looking for.
Here was a recipe for crepes that was decisively different and richer sounding than any other recipe I had previously stumbled across. Voila!
So a few dummy runs, a couple tweaks and some minor adjustments later, I have come up with a glorious crepe recipe that produces rich and silky pancakes with good chew and a soft interior.
Combined with fresh lady finger bananas, oh so sweet and starchy. Crunchy toasted pecan nuts, lightly crumbled to perfection and a très agréable salted caramel sauce makes for a decadent and simple dessert.
A dessert reminiscent of dinner party delights that Julia might have whipped up for husband Paul and any friends lucky enough to have been invited for tea by the “Queen of the ladle”.
Banana and Salted Caramel Crepes with Toasted Pecans
Ingredients for the Crepes
125gms butter- melted
1 1/4 cups organic flour
3 Tablespoons of caster sugar
Pinch of salt
4 large free range eggs
2 large free range egg yolks
1 1/2 cups of milk – warm
1/2 cup of cream -warm
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
Ingredients for the crepe filling
4 Lady finger banana’s
1/4 cup brown sugar
25 gms butter
1/4 cup of cream
sea salt flakes
Don’t be put off with the long list of ingredients. To make the crepe mixture is as easy as banging all the ingredients into a blender and whizzing for 1 minute on high. Done.
Now rest the batter in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour before using. This allows the gluten in the flour time to relax and will help to keep the crepes soft and light rather than gluey.
To cook the crepes
Heat a crepe pan or small fry pan on a medium heat with a good spray of nonstick cooking oil. Using a small 120mls/ 4oz ladle, place the mixture into the pan and swirl to distribute.
Once the edge of the crepe begins to brown-approximately 40 seconds- carefully slide a thin spatula underneath the crepe and gently flip the crepe over to cook on its reverse side for a further 30 seconds.
Shake the crepe from the pan onto a large plate and repeat the crepe making process until all the mixture is used up. You should end up with a stack of 9-10 crepes. Your own mille crepe.
Cover your stack with foil to help keep them warm while you prepare the ingredients for the filling- but not to worry, this will only take a second.
To prepare the filling
Make the caramel sauce by melting the brown sugar in a small pan on medium heat, stirring continuously. This will only take a minute so best not to walk away or answer the phone as the sugar can burn very easily.
Once the sugar has liquefied, remove from the heat and drop in the butter, mixing until well incorporated.
Place back onto a low heat and pour in the cream. It will spit at you a bit, but don’t be afraid, it wont overflow. Beat the heck out of it until its glossy and smooth and set aside off the heat.
To assemble the crepes
Place a few slices of banana and a sprinkling of pecan nuts on to the crepe and then fold into a triangle.
Use 2 to 3 crepes per person and drizzle well with the caramel sauce.
Finish your crepe plate with a light sprinkling of sea salt flakes over the caramel sauce and serve.